Contemporary Approaches to Adaptation
Introduces students to key theories and approaches to the study of adaptation across media. Students will use and evaluate critical models from a range of perspectives such as fidelity and comparative criticism; intertextual and transmedial approaches; audience study; and medium-focused analysis.
Markets and Audiences
This unit will adopt a sociological approach to the study of the cultural industries and their audiences. It will examine the marketing and promotion of cultural texts, and will consider how paratexts and extratextual materials contribute to the audience’s expectations and experiences, in addition to reflecting cultural and political differences. The unit will explore the commercial imperatives shaping the contemporary cultural marketplace, focusing on high profile awards, the branding of authors, the distribution strategies of media corporations and how the leisure and tourist industries engage with or exploit cultural texts.
This unit aims to investigate and understand the development and nature of the art of storytelling in the context of digital-interactive media. Storytelling has always been affected by its media and digital media is no exception. Interactivity in storytelling, although less of a feature historically (though not an absent one), is increasingly witnessed with the opportunities of digital technology. Beginning with a brief pre-history, this course will come to grips with contemporary particularities thrown up at the intersection between digitalisation and interactivity; solutions to which are now attracting attention in industries such as publishing and public and critical attention, via events such as the world’s first New Media Writing Prize. This unit will provide a rigorous scholarly framework for students’ existing digital literacy and give space for both reflection upon and improvement in their competence with interactive digital media.
Adapting the Classics
This unit will consider the continued popularity and cultural significance of adaptations of ‘classic’ texts with reference to a range of theoretical approaches. The unit will focus primarily on specific authors and texts deemed ‘classic’, and their televisual and popular cultural expression, critically evaluating the contribution they make to our cultural heritage. The unit will also critique notions of ‘nostalgia’ and ‘heritage’ often associated with certain canonical authors, and consider the extent to which the concept of the ‘classic’ may be extended to popular cultural forms.
This unit will reflect on the subjective meaning of transgression and renewal alongside discussion and analysis of key adaptations located within a range of cultural, political, textual, industrial and discursive contexts.
‘Narrating Identities’ gives students an opportunity to study a number of genres that can loosely be categorised as life writing. Critical approaches to biography, autobiography, autobiographical fiction and film biopic will be analysed in a theoretical framework that will help students to generate the critical vocabulary and cultural literacy necessary to perform detailed critical analysis. The unit will invite students to engage in a critical interrogation of how identity has been and continues to be narrated and constructed across a range of different literary media, relating changing generic definitions and stylistic innovations to the wider cultural and historical trends of which they are a part. Mainstream texts will be studied alongside texts from new media and texts produced from different marginal or peripheral subject positions in order to explore such notions as cultural identity, dominant ideology and emerging or oppositional cultural narratives.
Dissertation (academic) OR Major Project (creative)
The dissertation or major project aims to provide students with the opportunity to develop and demonstrate their critical, analytical and research skills by undertaking a significant piece of academic or creative work. With this unit, students will culminate their studies, and will work with a degree of independence not previously experienced in university coursework. Their choice is not bound to any specific unit within the Master’s programme, and thus encourages students to focus on topics they find most inspiring. In bringing together the skills, knowledge, and critical insight they have developed during the programme, students will use this unit not only to discover and hone their individual strengths but, through discovery, establish lines of inquiry that they may take with them into future careers.